Cuban Crafts for Mother’s Day

Photo Feature by Daisy Valera

Arte-para-mama-34HAVANA TIMES — Cuba’s ninth mother’s day crafts fair, expanded in 2012 to display works from across the country, is currently underway at Havana’s PABEXPO fairgrounds. Named “Art for Mom” (“Arte para Mamá”), the fair will be held until May 11.

This year, three exhibition areas were needed to accommodate the increased number of artisans, who hail from 12 different provinces to display their crafts in Havana. The artisans have set up their stands in spaces rented out at 45 Cuban pesos the square meter, and must pay a daily tax of 3 to 4 Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) for their sales.

An area devoted to interior design items, displaying furniture, embroideries and ceramic pieces for different home interiors, is one of the highlights of the exhibition this year.

A welcome addition to this year’s fair are stands offering crafts in Cuban pesos. Though few in number, these stands offer a wide range of products, from decorative pieces to footwear.

Though imitation jewelry and ceramic stands, where prices generally do not exceed 10 CUCs, have proven the most popular among fair-goers, we come across arm chairs, rocking chairs and wardrobes with prices over 100 CUCs bearing signs of “SOLD” around the show ground.

Rich or poor, people around Havana have gone out in search of a special gift for mom this year. “Art for Mom” is yet another indication of the profound gap that divides current purchasing powers in Cuba today.

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Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.


2 thoughts on “Cuban Crafts for Mother’s Day

  • May 8, 2013 at 8:42 am
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    Nice article and interesting photos, Daisy. Even if one is not prepared to buy anything, it is often nice to look at all the beautiful crafts and other things at a fair like this. Thanks for providing a glimpse!

  • May 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm
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    God truly blessed the Cuban people with excellence in everything their hand touches! Viewing the sheer beauty and creativity in these crafts and goods, I can only think of the poverty of the US citizen in not being allowed by his/her government to freely visit Cuba, and the entire blockade that prevents such items from reaching our shores. Besides causing much deprivation to the Cuban people, the blockade is a terrible dagger piercing the soul of art and craft lovers in the US. I can only dream of a “thousand” (maybe just 20, lmao!) things I would like to buy at this fair, if our Emperor could allow us to travel to Cuba like citizens of all other countries.

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